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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Event Planner

Complete guide to becoming an event planner Complete guide to becoming an event planner

If you love parties, big events, dressing up, going out to see and be seen, does that mean you would be great at planning and hosting events and parties? It just might if you are a practical, driven, organized, and creative person who wants to join a growing industry with the opportunity to earn a great salary. There’s a big difference between enjoying parties and wanting to plan them, but if you know you like to put events together, this complete guide will show you how to get into a fun and lucrative career and become an event planner.

Event Planning and Design is a Growing Market, Especially in South Florida

Certain careers and industries are growing faster than average job growth and that includes event, meeting, and convention planning. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, event planning is growing faster than average, at a rate of ten percent. There are expected to be nearly 10,000 new jobs available for professionals trained in planning and designing events.

Thanks to the industry growth, now is a great time to become an event planner, especially in South Florida / Miami area. Because of the warm weather, great beaches and tourist destinations, people come from all over the world to host and attend events and conferences here. It’s why there are many opportunities to learn event planning, network with industry leaders, and build a successful career in events.

What does an Event Planner do?

An event planner is someone who coordinates all the details that go into planning and designing parties, conference or professional meetings, tradeshows, weddings, festivals, and other types of large events and gatherings. Event planners are responsible for things like finding and securing an event location, coordinating transportation, finding catering services, sticking with the event budget, coordinating design elements, selecting decorations, communicating with clients, negotiating with vendors, and attending the event to make sure everything runs smoothly.

An event planner can choose to work on a variety of types of events or stick to specialized events. For instance, some focus only on weddings, while others plan corporate conferences or government events. Event design professionals may also specialize in a particular job like promoting events or designing and launching experiential marketing events. Regardless of the type of event being organized, this job, in general, is a combination of creative design and practical logistics.

What are the benefits of being an Event Planner?

There are countless reasons why someone might choose to become an event planner. If you are willing to work hard and get the right training, you can start to count the many benefits of working in this exciting industry. Here’s just a couple:

Big demand.

Event planners are in big demand right now, especially those who are trained, experienced, and good at what they do. If you take the time to learn how to do this job well, you won’t struggle to get work. You will only be limited by your own willingness to work hard. and for you, event planning allows you to release that creativity in a more pragmatic way. This is especially true for specializing in event design.

Meet new people.

Event planning is a very social business. If you love meeting new people, working with a variety of people, from clients to vendors, you find this career meaningful and fulfilling. It’s never boring when you get to work various types of groups and individuals.

Transferable skills.

As an event planner, you will gain a lot of practical skills that can be used in other industries if you ever want to switch careers. Budgeting, coordinating, planning, communications, working with clients, negotiating are excellent skills to have no matter which career you choose to pursue.

Be an entrepreneur.

Event planning is the kind of job that can easily be done on a freelance basis. You can find positions with event companies, but you can also go out on your own and find your own clients and jobs. You can even start an event planning business and grow it as large as your dreams are. As an entrepreneur, you can dictate your hours and drive your business as you see fit.

See the results of your hard work.

Event designing and planning is a rewarding career for many of reasons, but an important one is that you actually get to see and experience the event that comes from all of your efforts. There is gratification in clients enjoy the event you worked hard to design.

How to Train to Become an Event Planner

This is not the kind of career that absolutely requires you have a specific education, but it is highly recommended. Art and design schools like Miami Arts & Design Education (M.A.D.E) offer programs and courses that help students learn everything they need to know to become an event planner. Students take courses in the business side of event planning, and learn digital planning and imaging tools, event logistics, as well as design and aesthetics. They also gain real-world experiences while they develop a portfolio of work and experience in event design and planning, both important tools to help you land gigs.

Coursework in event planning is taught by active industry professionals who have working experience in the field and can teach you lessons they have learned first hand. Another great complete an event planning program is that it provides a great opportunity for networking. Nearly as important as gaining event planning skills is getting to meet and network with people who can help you get jobs later. It is the benefit of going through a professional program in area like Miami where there are so many people who can help you find your way in this career.

How is an Event Planner different from an Event Designer?

An event planner is often both the planner and designer. This field is big and varied so there is room to specialize. A planner focuses on logistics, especially for the day of the event. This is a professional who is skilled at sticking to a budget, getting all elements of an event organized, and making sure it all comes together on the big day. A designer is more focused on the look and feel of an event. This professional develops the big picture, tone, and design then turns that into practical decorations, displays, and details.

Qualities of an Excellent Event Planner

Still not sure if you’re suited for this career? Here are some important skills and qualities of a good event planner, whether they are skills you learn in classes or qualities you naturally have:

Communication and interpersonal skills.

Working in events means working with and coordinating between people. This mean you need to be good at communicating, negotiating, and relating to all types of people.

Good organization.

To put together a big events, you will bringing together a lot of different elements from different people and vendors. The ability to remain organized is crucial.

Problem solving.

Even when well organized, there will be problems to solve as an event planner. You need to be creative, not only in design, but also in coming up with solutions as problems arise.

Attention to detail.

Event clients want everything to be perfect, and that goes down to the details, like the color of napkins. You must be detail-oriented to succeed in this career.

Calm under pressure.

No matter how skilled you are as a planner, things will go wrong. You will not be able to control everything, and you may sometimes end up with people angry with you when things do go wrong. Event planners must remain calm in this situations of sometimes intense pressure.

How much does an Event Planner make in Florida?

Of all the good reasons to choose a career in event planning and event design, salary is an important one. To be good at events takes a lot of hard work and dedication. To succeed and impress clients, so that you can get more clients, you have to put in the hours. The good news is that you will be compensated well. The median salary across the country in 2016 was $47,350 for event planners, but the top 10 percent of earners in the field made more than $83,000. In Florida, the average salary was $46,260.


Are you ready to become an event planner? If you are, there is room for more dedicated, trained, and skilled professionals. More than $500 billion is spent on events annually, so there are plenty of opportunities for those who are driven to succeed. Learn more about event design classes and how a program like the one offered at Miami Arts & Design Education can get you started on the path to your new career.

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